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Offense shines as Lakers beat Duluth Denfeld

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The Duluth Public School Stadium is a place senior Detroit Lakes quarterback Reed Oistad can hang his hat in.

That's because it's the location Oistad has scored seven rushing touchdowns in the last two weeks, the latest being a four-TD performance in the Laker's 47-29 offensive explosion Friday victory over Duluth Denfeld.

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Oistad recorded three rushing touchdowns against Duluth Central the week before, but the DL QB's production is just a microcosm of the Laker's red zone efficiency in their last two victories.

DL's offense has a perfect percentage of scoring touchdowns in the red zone by finding the end zone nine-out-of-nine trips inside their opponents' 20-yard line the last two weeks.

Out of those nine red zone touchdowns, Oistad has seven of them on the ground and one more passing the ball through the air.

Oistad has had a nose for the end zone and it's been smelling awfully good.

"We talk about it in the huddle when we are in the red zone and we all have a smell for the end zone," Oistad said. "Everyone picks it up a notch when we get there."

Oistad also paced the Laker's ground game, going over 100 yards for the first time this season by picking up a game-high 129 yards on 12 carries (10.75 yards per carry).

That was key to DL's 28-7 first-half lead, in which it saw four time-consuming drives, aided by 12 first downs in the first two quarters and 38 plays from the line of scrimmage.

"First downs are good," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "We did a lot of good things tonight. The offense converted several key third downs and Reed, as always, did a great job leading them."

The gears started purring early, on DL's first drive.

The Lakers were led by senior fullback Dustin Rietsema, who picked up 26 of the team's 58 yards in the drive on six carries.

But it was a 16-yard pass by a rolling out Oistad to lanky sophomore wide receiver Josh Stalberger that saved the drive on fourth and 11 to the Denfeld 33.

After the reception, Oistad took the ball himself on a veer option through the left side 13 yards for the first of his four rushing TDs.

"That was our goal right away, was to get off to a good start and that drive did that," Oistad said.

A forced punt by the DL defense gave the Lakers the ball on their own 26, which started an eight-play scoring march, keyed by another Stalberger catch, who was able to sneak behind the Denfeld safety to the Hunter's 19.

Rietsema bulled his way up the middle for a 12-yard end zone rush and DL was up 14-0.

A nine-play drive in the second quarter ended with Oistad slithering through the defense from 15 yards out, which answered a Hunter touchdown, that came on a Tyler Conito three-yard dive to make the score 21-7.

Another nine-play scoring drive on DL's second series in the second quarter picked up 80 yards, with DL only forced into one short third down play and ending when Oistad hit senior slotback Aaron Gnoinsky on a seam route for a 38-yard score and a 28-7 halftime advantage.

"The offense played well that first half, but I was a little disappointed in the defense," Motschenbacher said. "But the defense set the tone for us in the second half."

That came on an opening three-and-out series by Denfeld, which gave DL some momentum.

After another punt by the Hunters on their next possession, the Lakers looked to have sealed the game with a scoring drive, highlighted by a 28-yard rush by Oistad and capped by the DL QB with a six-yard TD around left end to put the visitors up 35-7.

The second-string Laker team came in and even scored on their first series, as sophomore QB Joe Mollberg directed a 30-yard score after a DL fumble recovery.

Mollberg blasted his way in from three yards out as DL led 41-7.

With the majority of second and third team players in on defense, the Hunters were able to score two consecutive touchdowns to pull to within 41-21.

But with the first-stringers reinserted early in the fourth quarter, Oistad's fourth touchdown of the night put the icing on the game. It was set up by a Stalberger interception and a 40-yard return to the DL 44 and a Mollberg 31-yard reception down the visitor's sideline.

"It did get sloppy there later in the game, but our defense did play better in the second half," Motschenbacher said. "Our offense wasn't making any bad plays, even though we didn't make many big plays, we'll still take those first downs."

The Lakers controlled the ball with the first-stringers out there, picking up 21 first downs and snapping a season-high 73 plays from the line of scrimmage.

The Hunters had success on the ground, with Conito leading the way with 112 yards on 13 carries and Ivan Dakovic hauling the rock 12 times for 105 yards.

But Oistad gave the Lakers good balance offensively, rushing for his 129 yards and throwing for 178, no interceptions and spreading the ball around well, hitting seven different receivers.

The Lakers remain on top of the North Country Conference with a 4-0 record and 4-1 overall. They will be back home Friday when they host Fargo Shanley for a 7 p.m. start.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Duluth Denfeld, Friday, Sept. 26.

Lakers 47, Hunters 29

Detroit Lakes - 14 14 13 6 -- 47

Duluth Denfeld - 0 7 14 8 -- 29

DL - Reed Oistad 13-yard run; Steven Labine kick. 8:24, 1st quarter.

DL - Dustin Rietsema 12-yard run; Labine kick. 2:10, 1st.

DD - Tyler Conito 2-yard run; C.J. Ham kick. 9:18, 2nd.

DL - Oistad 15-yard run; Labine kick. 5:59, 2nd.

DL - Aaron Gnoinsky 38-yard pass from Oistad; Labine kick. 1:22, 2nd.

DL - Oistad 6-yard run; Labine kick. 6:54, 3rd.

DL - Joe Mollberg 3-yard run; kick failed. 2:21, 3rd.

DD - Ivan Dakovic 1-yard run; pass failed. 13.3, 3rd.

DL - Oistad 9-yard run; kick failed. 5:57, 4th.

DD - Conito 30-yard run; Dakovic run. 2:58, 4th.

DL DD

First Downs 21 18

By Rushing 13 12

By passing 7 4

By penalty 1 2

Net Yards Rushing 271 293

No. rushes 48 45

Yards gained 280 303

Yards lost 9 10

Net Yards Passing 186 64

No. passes 22 17

Completed 12 6

Incomplete 10 9

Had intercepted 0 2

Interception yards 65 0

Total Offensive Plays 73 66

TOTAL NET YARDS 457 357

Kickoffs 8 5

Yards 367 203

Ave. kickoff 45.9 40.6

Kickoffs Returned 4 8

Yards 82 121

Ave. return 20.5 15.1

Fumbles 4 2

Fumbles lost 2 2

Penalties 7 4

Yards 65 45

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Reed Oistad 12 129 0 129

Dustin Rietsema 17 73 2 71

Joe Mollberg 7 26 0 26

Max Knoll 2 22 0 22

Jon Gilson 6 19 0 19

Connor Hedstrom 1 6 0 6

Brett Provo 1 4 0 4

Nate Baker 2 1 7 (-6)

Duluth Denfeld -

Tyler Conito 13 117 5 112

Ivan Dakovic 12 105 0 105

Drake Willis 7 42 0 42

C.J.?Ham 6 21 0 21

Luke Jaydzewski 6 18 0 18

Adam Scofield 1 0 5 (-5)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Oistad 20 11 9 0 178 1

Mollberg 2 1 1 0 8 0

Duluth Denfeld -

Scofield 17 6 9 2 64 0

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Mollberg 3 54 0

Josh Stalberger 2 47 0

Baker 2 21 0

Knoll 2 18 0

Aaron Gnoinsky 1 38 1

Gilson 1 8 0

Rietsema 1 0 0

Duluth Denfeld -

Morgan Sudduth 2 20 0

Dakovic 2 13 0

Jimmy Waller 1 23 0

Jazdzewski 1 8 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Brock Johson 7 331 47.3

Chris Nelson 1 36 36

Duluth Denfeld -

Tom Warren 5 203 40.6

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Rietsema 2 58 29

Connor McLeod 2 24 12

Duluth Denfeld -

Conito 4 44 11

Jazdzewski 2 31 15.5

Dakovic 1 28 28

Willis 1 18 18

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Stalberger 1 40

Gnoinsky 1 25

Duluth Denfeld -

None

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Alex Feldt 1 5

Duluth Denfeld -

None.

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